Hang my Vice President, please!

When former President Donald Trump told an angry mob that had burst into the Capitol that Mike Pence had betrayed them, it was not the first time in American history that a US president advocated hanging his own vice president. Perhaps there was no irony involved in the fact that the other president was the largely ignorant Trump’s favorite president, noted man of violent temper Andrew Jackson.

Unlike Trump, who with perfect deniability (his intent is still being debated by great legal minds) merely noted that his vice president was a traitorous coward and incited an angry mob to make good on their threat to hang him, Old Hickory announced that he was ready to go down to South Carolina and personally hang his seditious vice president. You can’t make this shit up.

John C. Calhoun, employing an early version of the now new again Independent State Legislature Doctrine, secretly authored South Carolina’s refusal to obey a federal law under a States’ Rights argument. He argued, arguably seditiously, that a state need not follow a federal law that it found repugnant to its traditions or offensive to its own interests, in this case the harm it would do to slaveholders to obey this federal tariff against Great Britain. South Carolina announced, almost thirty years before taking up arms against the US in the “War of Northern Aggression,” that it was officially nullifying this odious federal law in South Carolina. Predictably, Jackson was furious and ready to go down to South Carolina and personally hang John C. Calhoun.

It wasn’t that they disagreed about slavery, Andrew Jackson a self-made man of the people, had risen from modest circumstances, made his fortune in the slave trade. Jackson was not a man who took kindly to being undermined by his second-in-command, which is not hard to relate to, really.

Read all about the Nullification Crisis of 1832–33, in the online Britannica encyclopedia: https://www.britannica.com/topic/nullification-crisis

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